Restaurant Le Duc, a staple seafood establishment in the heart of Montparnasse, is our favourite fish restaurant in Paris. Its vintage nautical-themed dining room may have been graced by countless dignitaries and celebrities since opening in 1967, but dining here is an unassuming experience; much like eating at a family restaurant you have been going to your whole life, only with more elegant cooking that will change your perception on how fish and seafood are best savoured.
Luxury in the form of superb seafood produce
The chef takes on an ingredient-focused approach. Excellent quality wild seafood is sourced from all over France and Scotland and delivered fresh each day, which are then prepared with a simple sensibility to showcase the natural flavours of superb ingredients – by way of pared down aesthetics, unburdened by heavy seasoning and straightforward cooking done just right. The dish of langoustines from Scotland served whole with a side of mayonnaise were so delightfully sweet, succulent and salty from seawater, it made us stop to marvel at how enjoyable a dish so deceptively plain looking could taste so wonderful.
Beurre, specifically butter from Pascal Beillevaire – one of France’s finest – is featured prominently here as an ingredient in sauces, sides, bread accompaniment and desserts, but never in an overwhelming quantity that could affect its dishes. We really enjoyed the luxuriant plate of sliced saint-pierre fish in a butter vodka sauce, classic sole meunière served with sides of black rice and roasted légumes, and even the large block of butter that came with our sourdough bread (from Meilleur Ouvrier de France boulangerie Frederic Lalos). And as delicious the entrees and plats were, desserts turned out to be equally strong contenders, with the baba au rhum a must-order.
Overall, an impressive meal at Le Duc from start to finish, including the warm, friendly service which is still a rarity in Parisian restaurants. Prices are on the high side, but the exceptional seafood and cooking are well deserving (of its price point). In short, food here is absolutely delicious without any of the fuss or pretense. Le Duc is a must-visit when in Paris.
Our tip: If you are here during lunch, skip the condensed lunch set menu and order from the full menu for a more comprehensive experience! The popular millefeuille is also only available during dinner service.
243 Boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris, France
Opening Hours: Lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. Closed on Sunday, Monday and bank holidays.